I’ve not been scared of much since I started my transition. That might have been a bit naive now I come to think of it. Not that anything bad has ever happened. It’s just I never stopped living the way I always did. Obliviously, as it happens. And maybe with more risk than I appreciated.
I haven’t ever really paid too much attention to danger, up till this week, either. 40 years of previous male privilege meaning that I have probably been a little complacent. And perhaps even cavalier about the reality of my safety.
The penny dropped last week though. Kind of sharply. I’m used to being out at night on my own. Always have been. And other than the odd darkened shortcut, I usually stick to where the traffic and lights are. Safe as houses.
But an unplanned night time subway journey has shown me I might want to start being a little more careful. Casually chose an empty carriage on my way home. I wasn’t too concerned as it was at best a ten minute journey. And then two belligerent drunk guys chose the same carriage. Although thankfully at the opposite end.
They didn’t do or say anything to me. I just had the sense of being scared for a change. The situation felt palpably threatening and despite being used to scrutiny, I just really wanted not to be noticed. At all costs. That’s new to me. Because I definitely was more than a little afraid of where that journey might end. And it was then an epically long trip.
They might also have been the loveliest guys in the world though, I’ll never know. But I do know that surly drunks, misunderstandings and violence are easy bedfellows. I realised I didn’t want to find out the hard way. But it’s a lesson learned. I’ll be trying not to put myself in stupidly risky situations. Especially when I’m alone. I might still take the occasional shortcut though. Old habits etc.